About 150 counties in 14 districts in mainland Portugal today have a maximum fire risk, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).
At maximum risk are around 150 municipalities in the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga, Porto, Vila Real, Bragança, Viseu, Aveiro, Guarda, Coimbra, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Portalegre and Faro.
The IPMA also placed a very high and high risk of fire in almost all municipalities in all districts (18) of mainland Portugal.
According to the IPMA, at least until Monday the maximum and very high fire risk will remain in many counties on the continent, due to the hot weather.
The fire risk determined by the IPMA has five levels, ranging from reduced to maximum.
Calculations are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.
The government declared on Thursday the alert situation in mainland Portugal due to weather forecasts for the next few days that point to a “significant increase in the risk of rural fire”.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) advanced in a statement that the alert situation covers the period between 00:00 on Friday and 23:59 on Sunday.
“In view of the weather forecasts for the coming days, which point to a significant increase in the risk of rural fire, the ministers of Internal Affairs and the Environment and Climate Action signed this Thursday the order that determines the declaration of the alert situation throughout the territory of the continent ”, states the MAI.
The declaration follows the activation of the special red alert status, the most serious of a scale of four, for the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Viseu, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Porto and Aveiro.
Within the scope of reinforced monitoring and the degree of readiness of the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR), the special red alert status means that the degree of risk is extreme because there is the possibility of the occurrence of phenomena “of exceptional intensity, which is very likely to result in very significant damage and a very significant reduction in the safety of people, which can threaten their physical integrity or even life, in a vast area ”.
In the remaining districts, Beja, Évora, Coimbra, Faro, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre and Setúbal, the orange alert state was activated, the second most serious of a quarter scale, which translates into a high risk level.
The MAI stresses that the declaration of the alert situation also stems from the need to adopt preventive and special reaction measures in view of the maximum and very high fire risk predicted by the IPMA, at least until Monday, in more than half of the continent’s counties. due to hot weather.
Within the scope of the declaration of the alert situation, foreseen in the Civil Protection Bases Law, measures of “exceptional character” will be implemented, such as the prohibition of access, circulation and permanence inside the forest spaces previously defined in the Municipal Plans for Forest Defense Against Fire, as well as in forest paths, rural paths and other paths that cross them.
In the next three days, burning and burning of exploration leftovers and the total use of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices, regardless of their combustion form, are also prohibited, as well as the suspension of authorizations issued in the districts where the red alert status has been declared by the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC).
Within the scope of measures of an “exceptional character”, work in forest areas and other rural areas using any type of machinery is also prohibited.